Dec. 9, 2012
AUBURN - The Auburn women's basketball team picked up a win after an 11-day layoff, as it defeated Hofstra, 68-58, Sunday at Auburn Arena. The Tigers improved to 6-2 while the Pride dropped their seventh-straight and fell to 1-7.
"It was a little rusty," Auburn head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "It was hard to get them to really stay focused right now with having finals and trying to get them focused with the scouting report and everything to play. Hopefully we got all of this out of the way, and we can do nothing but play basketball now."
Auburn had four players score in double figures, led by Peyton Davis and Tyrese Tanner, each with 13. Hasina Muhammad added 12, and Blanche Alverson tallied 11. It was the fourth time this season that the Tigers had four or more players in double figures. Najat Ouardad tied her career high with eight assists while also scoring eight points.
"I'm very proud of what we got out of our starters," Williams-Flournoy said. "But, we need to get a little bit more out of our bench play because our starters are playing a lot of minutes. They are having to stay in for too many minutes, so if we can get just a little more productivity from our bench, they wouldn't have to play as long."
In addition to leading Auburn in scoring, Davis also earned her first career double-double as she grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds in the effort. It was the first double-double for the Tigers since Blanche Alverson's in last year's season-opener against Mercer.
"It's funny, I'm going to get on Peyton because she had 13 points and 12 rebounds, but she really could've had more," Williams-Flournoy said. "But for us and for Peyton, the more she can build her confidence is only going to help us."
The Tigers got off to a sluggish start in the opening minutes of the first half, but picked up the intensity to start a 13-0 run with 9:01 remaining. Alverson and Tyrese Tanner combined for 11 of the 13 points during the run.
Auburn allowed just five points in the final nine minutes of the half and held Hofstra to just one field goal from Andreana Thomas with 1:42 to play. The Tigers held a 16-point lead at halftime with the score 39-23.
Auburn went into the locker room having forced 14 of its eventual season-high 28 turnovers in the game. It marked the fourth time in Auburn's eight games this season that it forced 25 or more turnovers, despite just 14 resulting points.
"That's the one that we have to get a little bit better," Williams-Flournoy said. "Although we're forcing teams into 20-plus turnovers some games, we're not getting the productivity in points off of turnovers that we need to get, especially with live ball turnovers. We have to turn those into points. That's just something that we have to work on."
The Tigers picked up a season-high 18 steals, led by Alverson with six. Her six steals tie her career high and also tied for 10th all-time at Auburn in single-game steals.
Despite the halftime lead, Hofstra challenged the Auburn in the second half, cutting the lead to as few as four with just under two minutes remaining.
The Tigers forced three turnovers and Muhammad scored four of the last six Auburn points to pull away from Hofstra in the final minutes of play for the 68-58 win.
Anma Onyeuku led Hofstra in scoring with 21, while All-American Shante Evans tallied nine points and 16 rebounds.
The Tigers return to action as they travel to Washington, D.C., to face George Washington Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT. The trip is a return home for Williams-Flournoy as she looks to win her 150th career game.